Spinning milk and silk fiber tute

This is the method I used to spin silk and milk fibers on an electric spinning wheel. I only used the spindle in these pictures because I didn’t want to tote a wheel to starbucks, where my knitting group took the pictures for me as I worked.

Pic 1: Put a little extra twist at the end of the silk fiber (this was actually done to the black fiber on the spindle, and the second piece of silk fiber I joined in).

Pic 2: Lay the piece of silk you’re attaching to the end across your hand. (This is the start of spinning from the fold, the area across the top of the index finger). You can put way more silk across your hand than this amount shown here. For me it depended on the colors of the silk sections I was working with. If the trailing ends of the silk are well past the bottom of your palm, you can make it a little shorter in the palm/front and longer in the back to help the ends catch onto each other more easily.

Pic 3: Once you have the end of the silk and the “from the fold” parts in your hand, you will be pressing sort of firmly down on the end and rubbing it into the silk fiber so that it will grab onto it. It doesn’t have to grab a whole lot of the new bundle.

Pic 4: I put the end (black in this case) to the far left of the “from the fold” silk because I don’t want to pull from the entire bundle, just enough strands to keep the yarn going. If this feels too loose to you, take the ends behind your hand and pull them between those two middle fingers and underneath the palm-side layer to tighten up the fibers.

Pic 5: Put your thumb down a little firmly and start rubbing the end together in a left-to-right kind of motion with that silk edge.

Pic 6: Start pulling the end away from the fold to draft out the newly attached fiber. (I wasn’t holding the fold down with my thumb very well at this point. The more you do it the better you’ll get at it.) Once you see that the end is joining pretty well to the newer fiber, start working your spinning wheel again. If it’s not as thick as you’d like it to be, just keep pushing the fold next to it so it will start pulling a thicker strand of new fiber in. If it’s not thin enough, you can keep drafting the silk fiber out to the right thinness, like in the next picture.

Pic 7: Smoothing and drafting out the new fiber to further join it with the old. That little messy pointy part at the top of the fold may look like a problem, but it drafts out really well. I only have a few section of navajo plied yarn that fuzzed up, but they were mainly before someone suggested spinning from the fold to me on Ravelry.

Pic 8: When you start getting to the end of the “from the fold” fiber, you can straighten it out a little and add another “from the fold” batch to it, or if it’s the last of your fiber, you can start spinning it long draw. It’s usually ruffled enough that the ends won’t stick out and look all messy, but tame enough to draft into the yarn.

I hope this helps you get going in your milk latte spinning! Best of luck!

(Thanks to Melissa/TheSnarkyLlama  (Ravelry)  for taking pictures for me.)


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